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The correctness of auto-correct

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

Gary Gould — Managing Editor

I ’ve seen iPhones and Smartphones and while they seem to have endless potential, I’m not ready to embrace them. It’s one of those things I can’t help but see as unnecessary and not entirely user-friendly yet.

One, I think they’re too expensive and I’m not keen on having to pay for a data package to go with the monthly bill. Secondly, I could see myself spending way too much time playing with such a phone and having it become a major distraction.

There’s also the dreaded autocorrect function on the iPhone’s text messaging. I hear stories all the time about how people have had their text messages completely misconstrued by a renegade auto-correct that changed correct words into something not-socorrect.

Since I don’t own an iPhone I checked around with friends to see what some of them have experienced with their auto-correct.

• The word “are” is often changed by auto-correct to “ate.” Therefore if you texted a friend and you asked “where are you” it might come out as “where ate you.” It sounds like someone put Yoda from Star Wars in charge of programming iPhones.

• One friend said her phone has autotext, which is where you speak and iPhone translates your words into a text message. The text she tried to send was: “just left the Grand Blanc Walmart” which came across on the other end as “just left with the rambling plumber.” Hey, if you were stuck in a crawlspace all day fixing a leaky pipe, you might ramble a little bit too.

• The same friend also said her phone once translated the word “separated” into “deprecated” and the phrase: “I’m proud of you” into “I putterview you.” This makes me wonder if this particular iPhone has a speech or hearing impediment — or maybe they just get confused.

In my search for auto-correct and auto-text flubs, I was referred to a website called www.damnyouautocorrect.com, a collection of funny and sometimes inappropriate gaffs committed by iPhone auto-correct.

Here’s a few examples of what I found there:

Texter No. 1 — “Haha it’s interesting to say the least. I have back hair now.”

Texter No. 2 — “You have back hair now? Very hot. Hahahaha!”

Texter No. 1 — “I meant BLACK!”

Or there was this example:

Texter No. 1 — “You are working at the fair?”

Texter No. 2 — “Yup!”

Texter No. 1 — “Doing what?”

Texter No. 2 — “Massacring people.”

Texter No. 2 — “Massage! Massaging people!”

Texter No. 1 — “Hahaha. Wow.”

That’s about all from that website I can share without getting myself in trouble, but you get the idea. It’s fair to say I’m always open to the next technology to come along, but I think auto-correct and auto-text on phones might have needed a little more perfecting before they are put into wide use.

Still, there is something to be said for having a piece of technology you can blame when you make a mistake. I may need to look into an iPhone so I can compose my work on it. Then when a reader catches the mistake, I have a scapegoat I can put it on.

Thanks technology! You really are my friend.


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